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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
An attempt to study one element, or part, of a literary work; see separate "handout" on literary criticism.
The rival or opponent against whom the major character (the "protagonist") is contending; see "protagonist."
The motives, or intentions, both conscious and unconscious, of the author that underlie or inform the work (The critical debate over intentionality, whether the critic should attempt to uncover the author's aims, is a very old one.)
authorial intention
That exciting or suspenseful moment for the reader when the outcome of the "conflict" is imminent; also a synonym for "crisis".
A comic scene introduced into an otherwise serious or tragic fictional or dramatic work, usually to relieve, if only momentarily, the tension of the "plot"; it often heightens, by contrast, the emotional intensity of the work.
comic relief
the written presentation of words spoken by characters in a narrative; used to introduce the conflict, give some impressions of the lives and personalities of the characters who are speaking, and advance the action to its climax and resolution
A religous term denoting the visitation of the Christ child by the Maji (the three wisemen), applied to literature by James Joyce to describe a sudden revelation, or "showing forth," of the essential truth about a character, a situation, or an experience.
the telling of a story by a person who was involved in or directly observed the action narrated. Such a narrator refers to himself or herself as I and becomes a character in the story, with his or her understanding shaping the reader's perception of the events and characters
first person narrative
a story within a story; a narrative told within the framework of another fictional setting and situation.
frame story
Refers to some contrast or discrepancey between appearance and reality
A term applied to works written in the twentieth century (the 1900s); it often implies a break with tradition and a rejection of past ideas, values, assumptions, and techniques.
A form of "exposition" that retells an event or series of related events in order to make a point.
A large sum of money awarded annually since 1901 to the person having produced during the year the most eminent piece of work in the field of idealistic literature, granted through the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, made possible by Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896).
nobel prize
A term used to describe contemporary writing (roughly since 1965) that is experimental in nature.
The chief character of a literary work; also commonly referred to as the hero or the heroine, but need not be a virtuous character to be the protagonist; see "antagonist".
Prizes awarded annually since 1917 by the School of Prize Journalism and the Board of Trustees of New York's Columbia University, for achievement in the fields of literature, music, and journalism. The awards are named after their donor, American journalist Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911).
Pulitzer Prize
A narrator whose knowledge and judgments about characters or events is sufficiently incomplete or flawed to render him/her an unreliable guide to the author's intentions.
unreliable narrator
the telling of a story in a manner that is faithful to the reader's experience of a real life, limiting events in the plot to things that might actually happen and characters to people who might actually exist
a way of writing that involves the presentation of a super-real dreamlike world where conventions are upended and rationality is dispensed with. The spontaneous creations of the unconscious are depicted in a surrealistic work through fantasy and incongruous imagery
the telling of a story by a detached, usually anonymous narrator, a voice who refers to all the characters as he, she, and they. Such a narrator may view the story with full omniscience which may or may not be impartial omniscience; or he or she may have only limited omniscience, seeing through the eyes of only one or a few characters
Third-person narration
fiction that interweaves realistic and fantastic details, juxtaposing the marvelous with the ordinary, as in the stories of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Magic Realism
stories about language and the process of writing, exemplified by the work of John Barth, Mary Lavin, and Julio Cortazar, among many others